An ankle sprain wasn’t going to hold Jarrad Davis back from playing against Georgia.
The senior linebacker returned to the field and started in No. 14 Florida’s 24-10 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Davis sustained the injury two weeks ago during Florida’s 40-14 homecoming win against Missouri on Oct. 14. The linebacker returned to practice this week after sitting out during the bye week and was considered a game-time decision.
But when Davis — a native of Kingsland, Georgia — got to EverBank Field, he sensed the importance of the game.
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“I just felt the energy in the stadium,” Davis said, “and I knew I had to play.”
Davis certainly came to play against Georgia.
The 6-2, 238-pound linebacker paced Florida’s defense with seven tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, adding in a quarterback hurry in the process.
“He’s the heart and soul of this team,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “And for him, this game meant a lot.”
DEPLETED RUNNING BACK GROUP
Half of the Gators’ four-person running back committee in sophomore Jordan Cronkrite and junior college transfer Mark Thompson did not make the trip to Jacksonville this weekend.
UF announced that Cronkrite, a former standout at Miami’s Westminster Christian, did not make the trip about a half hour before kickoff, originally citing an undisclosed injury.
“He’s right now kind of trying to figure out whether he wants to play or not,” McElwain said,
Cronkrite entered the game fourth for the Gators in total rushing yards (112) and has only received more than five carries in one game this season.
“Our door’s always open for him until he finds his way in what he wants to do we’re here to support him,” McElwain said.
Thompson was suspended Friday after being cited for marijuana possession.
This left Florida with two main running backs: sophomore Jordan Scarlett (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) and true freshman Lamical Perine.
Scarlett took the bulk of the load, amassing 93 yards on 26 carries. Perine finished the game with 33 rushing yards on 15 carries and added an extra 15 yards on three catches.
NEW AD IN THE HOUSE
Scott Stricklin doesn’t become Florida’s athletics director until Tuesday, but he decided to take a glimpse at Florida’s football team a couple of days early.
Stricklin, the outgoing AD at Mississippi State, was in attendance for Saturday’s neutral-site game.
Saturday was the last football game in Jeremy Foley’s 25-year tenure as UF’s athletics director. Florida went 19-6 in the rivalry during Foley’s tenure.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Kicker Eddy Pineiro, a former soccer standout at Miami Sunset Senior High made one of his two field-goal attempts Saturday, missing a 33-yard attempt wide right early before sinking a 38-yard shot in the fourth quarter to close out the game’s scoring. Pineiro is now 10 for 14 this season.
▪ Florida’s team captains for the game were wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood, safety Nick Washington, linebacker Alex Anzalone, and tight end C’yontai Lewis.
▪ UF held Georgia to just 164 yards of offense, marking the fourth time this season the Gators held an opponent under 200 yards this season. With that, the Gators join Alabama and Michigan as the only Football Bowl Subdivision teams to accomplish this feat so far this season.